Monday, February 11, 2008

"Idol Niya si Rizal"

With due apologies, I am again reposting my sister's blog here (again, without her consent...)

photo from

For four days now, my husband and I had devoured the local news. As a result, as the events of this week unfolded, I became awashed not just with feelings of disgust (for the despicable Arroyo government), empathy (for Jun Lozada and family), and grief (for our beloved Philippines). On top of all these mixed emotions, nostalgia crept in, especially as I look at our 2-year old daughter.

I was younger than our little girl when martial law was declared. I did not have any recollection of the events, but my parents would remind me quite often that among the first phrases I said as a child was the slogan “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.” 

What I remembered clearly though was how it was growing in NPA-infested Panay in the 70’s and 80’s. And how in the early 80’s I would often hear my father saying that Marcos was the number one recruiter of the NPA’s as by oppressing people, he (Marcos) had actually forced them (the people) to go the hills. I also remembered my mother packing things during those days - land titles, document, then, clothes. And how she was silently weeping. And not so silently whenever the song "Bayan Ko" was played. This was around those days after Ninoy was shot. 

As my father seethed in anger over the political situation at that time, my mother sought refuge in prayer. She would spend day after day in church just to pray for the country. But she also prepared, that’s why she packed.

I would later learn that during those tumultuous days, the one option my parents had considered was going to the hills, as we were warned early on that my father will be re-assigned to an island because of his political views. 

My eyes well up with tears as I recalled those days. Devoid of other options, what indeed will parents do instead? 

As we watched Jun Lozada say the things he was saying, we feel for him and his family. For who indeed will want to be in the situation he is currently in? What husband/father would want to put his family in this type of a predicament? Hindi naman siguro dahil idol niya lang si Rizal? 

Lozada had wanted to give something back to the country. Ugh! That had hit a nerve. Honestly, if I were on his shoes, I would just have left the country. But recalling what he had said, what would you have gained (by doing something cowardly) if you lose your soul? What indeed? 

“Idol nga niya si Rizal”. May God hold men like these in His keeping. 

And may the Lord heal our land.

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